It appears Rachel May scored an upset win over state Sen. David Valesky Thursday night in the Democratic primary for the 53rd Senate District seat.
With 100 percent of election districts reporting, May, D-Syracuse, received 8,013 votes to win the Democratic nomination. Valesky, D-Oneida, garnered 7,407 votes.
In her election night speech, May thanked campaign interns, volunteers and those who supported her campaign. She also lauded No IDC NY and True Blue NY-53, two groups that challenged Valesky, formerly a member of the Independent Democratic Conference in the state Senate, to rejoin the mainline Senate Democratic Conference.
May was a member of True Blue NY-53.
"This is really important," she said. "Voters showed up and I'm thrilled that so many people did."
When May launched her campaign, the Syracuse University administrator said it was to challenge Valesky and his status as a member of the Independent Democratic Conference. Progressives have criticized the IDC because the Democrats broke away from the main conference and formed a power-sharing coalition with Republicans.
Valesky, who has been in the state Senate since 2005, was one of the founding members of the IDC in 2011.
But May highlighted other issues she wanted to address during the campaign, including single-payer health insurance and increasing the state's renewable energy production.
Campaign finance and electoral reforms are also priorities for May. And she wants to boost investments in broadband expansion and infrastructure projects.
Valesky outspent May in the months leading up to the primary. A review of his July, 32-day pre-primary and 11-day pre-primary financial reports found he spent $396,451 on the race.
In the same period, May's campaign spent $112,635.
Valesky won his home county, Madison, with 1,780 votes to May's 1,233. May won the Oneida County portion of the district by a 559 to 171 margin.
But it was in Onondaga County, the district's largest, where May pulled ahead. She received 6,221 votes in her home county. Valesky netted 5,456.
Unless Valesky can win a vast majority of the absentee ballots submitted, May will appear on the Democratic and Working Families lines for the general election. Valesky has the Independence line. The Republican candidate in the race is Janet Burman, who will also appear on the Conservative line.
Valesky was endorsed by the Women's Equality Party, but an opportunity to ballot was filed by Burman's campaign to force a primary for the nomination. There were two write-in votes cast Thursday for an unknown candidate and one for Valesky.
The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 6.